Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-01-17-Speech-1-102"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, following close scrutiny of this report one cannot escape the conclusion that it was possible to fulfil the stated objective of the structural policy only in part. For example, whilst the disparities between the regions have increased rather than decreased, there has been a certain amount of convergence between the Member States themselves in this respect. Equally, unemployment levels in the worst affected regions barely fell at all, indeed they rose in some cases. I wonder why it is that the structural funds are not employed more efficiently. Even the accumulation of money from the cohesion funds and the structural funds has failed to have the desired effect in all regions and countries. Since it is the declared aim of all politicians throughout Europe to reduce unemployment, then one must pose the critical question as to whether the policy employed is the right one or whether it would not be more appropriate to boost the competitiveness of the regions by appropriate measures such as increased support for research and development, improvements in infrastructure and raising the level of training. Genuine structural reforms and a competition-friendly taxation policy are the cornerstones of a successful economic base. If we do not wish to stand accused of pursuing a cost-intensive structural policy that does nothing to improve the unemployment situation in the long term, then the measures drawn up so far must be analysed. We will only be able to say that the structural policy of the Union has been a success when we manage to create a sufficient number of jobs and when there is a significant reduction in the unemployment rate."@en1

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